You can't look at the company without remembering that Verizon Workers Are Human Too....
Behind the scenes of our everyday lives are people who contribute towards making ordinary activities, such as making a phone call, a possibility. I know Brian as a friend of the tattoo shop I work at, and he came to visit my boss on the day I was assigned an interview speech for a class. Aha! I thought, here was a chance to find out what the real story of a Verizon worker was. As a consumer I was curious about what my $60/month phone bill paid for.
Brian started in 1998 as a field technician installing DSL. Within 4 months, he was on the picket line, striking with other members of his union for two weeks. Eventually, he was forced into becoming a Cable Maintainer, a job this Tauran barely finds challenging. He only spends a few hours a day doing actual hands-on work, while a fair percentage of his time is spent traveling to work sites and waiting for clients and managers to get their acts together.
When I asked him for juicy on-the-job stories, he told me about the models he encountered on a task at Seventeen Magazine. He has seen quite a few women’s bedrooms in his time, and there have indeed been occasions when people answered the door in a towel. Women have greeted him in bras, but so far no one has greeted him naked. On one occasion, however, he was asked to stay by two strippers. But alas, at the time he had a girlfriend.
The real perks are few, though. In a company where the CEO makes $40 million a year, Brian barely gets more than $5 off of his phone bill. Even company shirts and hats have to be bought! Verizon can change his schedule without notice, and he can be forced to work 12 hour shifts for up to 15 days straight if Verizon decides there’s some sort of emergency. This is the downside of working for a utility, he tells me.
He wasn’t planning on making Verizon a career, but he’s content. He keeps his soul truly entertained by playing Ice Hockey, flying R/C aircraft, and riding motorcycles. He also has a second job as a Sound Engineer at a bar. His two dogs are his companions, one of which is epileptic and knows how to open jars and doors. “They’re more obedient than women,” he tells me.
“But what does the future hold in store?” I asked him. “I just aim to keep both feet planted on the ground, pay off my bills, and win the Lotto,” he replied. I’m certain that these are goals that all of us can directly relate to. And after hearing his story, from now on I’m going to pretend that my phone bill is supporting him directly in the pursuits that keep him a sane and happy Brooklyn-ite.